|Dr Ponder and great horned owlet. |
Photo A Burnette
|Great horned owlet on ground before TRC arrival. |
Photo M Williams
|Great horned owlet on ground. Photo J Ponder/I Bueno|
|Great horned owlet. Photo A Burnette|
|Great horned owlet and new perch. Photo A Burnette|
Great horned owlets are "branching" this time of year. At about five weeks of age, the youngsters leave wherever they were hatched. For the next several weeks, while their flight feathers grow in to replace the natal down, the owlets will climb and move around on nearby tree branches. Sometimes they end up on the ground near their nest tree.
Dr. Ponder and TRC staff recently assisted a great horned owlet in a local park. The Raptor Center was called when one of these youngsters was found on the ground. Dr. Ponder checked the owlet over to make sure she was healthy, banded her, and then found a safer grouping of trees for her. Out of concern and respect for the safety of the birds, we do not disclose locations of nest sites.
See our recent story on raptor babies here on our blog, or on an Academic Health Center page. If you do see an owlet or other baby raptor, please call 612-624-4745 to confer with our staff before intervening. We all want to do the right thing by our feathered friends. The Raptor Center can help with advice on each instance to make sure that these raptor families stay healthy and together.